How to celebrate your holidays with style: Q & A with Charlene Neal

Q:  I’m new to Florida. What do I do with my holiday decorations from up north?

It varies per individual or family.  If you have heirlooms and items you want to keep using, consider adding to that collection.  If it’s old and tired, perhaps it’s time to part ways.  Think of the mood you now want to create (whimsical, traditional, organic, jewel tones etc.).  You can personalize it from there.  Start fresh and add to it every year!

Q:  What can I do to give my home a more “coastal” feel?

Work from the color palate of your home.  At Neal, we have many homes that have the “coastal” design. In Belleisle, the Imagination model is decorated with a soft color palate of aqua, soft taupe, and grey.  A current “coastal” trend is adding lots of shells to the décor to play up the beachy theme.  Another option is adding turquoise, hot pink, and apple green.

Q:  How do I give my new Florida home a real Holiday feel?

The challenge in a Florida home is that most don’t have a traditional fireplace and mantel, so there’s no natural focal point.  Choose a feature in your home you want to accentuate.  A dining room table, coffee table, or side table can be a wonderful place for vignettes. You can even hang ornaments from a chandelier or nice light fixture.  Also, a decorative runner can be draped on a dining room table or breakfast table, each with an added vignette.

Q:  We downsized when we moved here, how do I decorate in a smaller space?

First, find the focal point or points in your new home. Instead of one large tree, consider a few table-top trees. You can also string lights on live or silk plants. Use a basket of pine cones, greens, berries, or white roses for a colorful vignette. Rosemary topiaries are already nicely shaped—just add a few bows or miniature ornaments.  Use what you already have in creative ways.  Use glass pieces to elegantly display ornaments or even consider arranging candle sticks of various heights on a silver tray. Experiment!

Q:  How can I utilize my outdoor living space?

We are so fortunate that we can comfortably have holiday celebrations outdoors!  You can add some sparkle to your space by putting lights on outdoor plants. Decorate a whimsical tree for the outdoor kitchen or bar area. Outdoors the possibilities are endless!  You can also add colorful LED bulbs or colored filters for the lights in your pool, an often overlooked outdoor entertaining area.

A long, wreath featured on the front door makes a great first impression

Beach-themed mantel includes coral and starfish in shimmery coastal colors